4 November 2010

Look what we found! Richard Walton's Beef & Basil Meatballs in Tomato Sauce [by @NLi10] (Sainsbury's)

Many times in life you want to eat something but you really don't want to make the effort. A lot of these times you don't care what it is that you consume, so instant foods that are low on flavour (such as canned meals) are acceptable - indeed the TV show Futurama coined the term Bachelor Chow for these. Other times you are still feeling lazy but wish to end up with something a little more refined. I spotted this range of "Look what we found!" foods while bumbling around Sainsbury's while recovering from the Flu and thought that I would risk trying one bag for the sake of the website.

Boil in the bag and microwave in the packet food isn't great at the best of times, and one that claims to be all natural and "As good as home made" can't be too close to the truth. I decided to give this one the maximum chance and heat it up on the hob instead of the alternate microwave instructions, and to pair it with some gnocchi I picked up while I was out. Gnocchi really is the ultimate lazy food as all you need to do is wait 2 mins and then scoop the little things out of the boiling water as they float up to the top, yet if you serve them with a little rocket and a nice dressing it all looks very refined. The meatballs had a stiff competition if they were to not become the weak link of the meal.

They heated nicely and I took a really bad photo under the living room lights instead of the nice white kitchen lights of the top picture. This makes the meatball part of the meal look like a horrible sludge, when really it was a nice tomato colour and smelt quite appetising.

While stirring & heating the package I'd thought that you didn't get much, but as with most of these things it turned out to be an ample portion for one with half a box of the little potato dumplings. Surprisingly the meatballs are quite packed with things and really have a good flavour too them. They didn't fall apart too easily, and were not rock hard like I'd expected packaged meats to be. They are a lot nicer in flavour than canned foods, and I'd say that you could easily serve this to someone and they would not know that it was not cooked fresh.

I will continue to explore this range as they make great meals for when I am just cooking for one. If you have a little gas camping stove, or go caravanning these would be perfect as they do not require refrigeration and are not bulky at all. I think that Richard Walton can be proud that his meatballs have made it on to supermarket shelves and in such an efficiently packed and prepared way.
by @NLi10

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